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Archive for December, 2017

Merry Christmas


I had sort of planned to have a quiet, solitary Christmas this year – just me and the cat… But things happened this autumn that changed those plans and instead led me to spend Christmas in Copenhagen.

You see, I met someone in early September and by mid-October he was my boyfriend. And on December 23rd I went to his place with an 7½ft tree to spend Christmas with him and his parents!

(Trust me, bringing that tree wth me on the city bus from my own pied-à-terre in town was interesting…)

We decorated the tree together that evening, using only a small part of his VAST stash of vintage ornaments (and a some paper hearts, cones and stars that we made together). It very much became a cirka 1950s archetype of a Danish Christmas tree, and I think it turned out rather beautiful, even if his candle holders definitely need to be repaired if I am ever to spend Christmas with them again! (They, too, are vintage – and they need somebody to take a set of pliers to them to get them into a shape that ensures less wonky candles!)

Because yes, of course a real Christmas tree needs real candles. And the garlands of Danish flags on Christmas trees began as a symbol of nationalism after the Prussians inflicted a devastating defeat on Denmark in 1864 and conquered nearly a third of the Danish mainland. “What is outward lost must be inward gained” and all that.

Here we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve; it only really kicks off when the roast – pork, duck or goose, depending on the family tradition – is in the oven, and after dinner the tree is lit and presents are opened.

(Most families also hold hands and walk around the tree while singing Christmas songs and hymns before present-time, but since we were just four adults we chose to skip that bit… But I would NEVER skip it if there had been even a single child present!)

I had worried a lot about Tommy’s present – yes, that’s his name. I knew what I wanted to give him – but I felt unsure about whether he would want it. I was even as unsure as to consult the ex-flâneur husband… I wanted to give a small amount of cash, equal to the price of a passport renewal, since Tommy hasn’t had a valid passport since 2014 – and I… Well, I like travelling. And I’d like to bring him along.

I’ve got a small apartment booked in Naples, Italy for 9 nights in May. An invite to join me was part of the present. Visiting Herculaneum and Pompeii, scaling Vesuvio, having lunch on the island of Capri… Trips to local markets, dinners cooked in the little kitchenette of the apartment, evening strolls in the Capodimonte park nearby…

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So there. Nothing about the garden – but I wish you all the best of Christmases, and a happy New Year!

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